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Using Position Statements to Promote Public Health Policy

Saturday, November 17, 2018  
Posted by: Michael McLaughlin, NALBOH Board of Directors
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One of the six governance functions put forth by NALBOH is to lead and contribute to the development of policies that protect, promote, and improve public health - POLICY DEVELOPMENT.  The Johnson County Board of Health in Johnson County, Iowa has developed a process that allows the board to create and disseminate position statements in alignment with this NALBOH function.

A position statement is a mini-white paper (usually one page in length) that consists of a statement of findings, a recommendation of action, and an official position taken by the Johnson County Board of Health.  Factors that contribute to the creation of these policy statements include prevalence, severity, relevance, policy solution, local priority, and science-based. 

            Prevalence- the extent to which the issue/condition is present within the population at large

            Severity- the likelihood that the health of those affected by the subject will be significantly degraded if no change is made

            Relevance- is it an issue or condition that is present in the board’s jurisdiction

            Persistence- is it likely to be an issue in the long term

            Policy Solution- is this an issue or condition big enough to merit a policy statement

            Local Priority- Is this something your community cares about

            Science Based- is the recommendation based in solid research and data


To date the board has created six position statements that have been used to educate the community and other boards of health and to advocate our positions with local and state legislators.